Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reka Records

A (almost complete) Reka label discography can be found at the Rockin' Country Style website.

Between 1959 and 1964, eight singles were released :

294 Jimmy Lamberth : Rockin' And Reelin' / Harbor Lights (59)
295 Jo Haynes : So Long /Scotty Mine (59)
296 Sonny Deckelman : Born To Lose / After You're Gone
297 Billy Childs : Call Me Shorty / I Need Your Love
298 Hank Hankins : Blues Stay Away From Me / My Old Kentucky Home Rock [instr.] (60)
299 Ace Cannon with Hank Hankins Trio : Kentucky Twist / Blues Stay Away From Me (62)
*Copies of Reka 299 have "Jimmy Ace" sticker over the name of Ace Cannon, perhaps because he was already under contract with Hi Records at the time of release. This is perhaps a re-issue of Reka 298 re-titled.
400 Jimmy Lamberth : Do You Know / Step-Out
401 Kenny Owen : Come Back Baby / Wrong Line (64)

Reka recording artist (and label owner) Jimmy Lamberth

Jimmy Lambert is probably best known for "Latch On To Your Baby" issued in 1957 by Meteor Records of Memphis, Tennessee. Information below -and picture above- are from the booklet of the essential "Complete Meteor Rockabilly & Hillbilly Recordings" released by Ace Records. Extensive notes are written by Martin Hawkins :

Jimmy Lamberth came from a very different strand of the Southern music mix than most of Meteor’s white artists. A jazz man from Jonesboro, he learned his music at the University of Arkansas and in the North East Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, first with clarinet, then alto sax and then tenor. Born in 1926, he had begun to play music at the age of eight and by 15 had a band called the Rhythm Kings. Then he formed a band called the Dixieland Boys with Wayne Odum in the 1940’s. While most Meteor artists were playing country or blues, Jimmy was running a dance band. Lamberth maintained a band of one kind or another through most of the 1950s and into the 1960s, and he also worked on the road and in the studio with the Bill Black Combo and with Ace Cannon. From 1959 onwards, he also dabbled in recording on his own Reka label.

After Meteor, Jimmy Lamberth never really pursued a recording career. He always felt he was too busy to « fool » with records. He made some discs on his own Reka label including another version of « I’ll Pretend », and produced and issued music by his friend including Ace Cannon. He wrote songs, one of which he swears was ‘Raunchy’ that Bill Justis covered and took to mega hit status. He says he laid down this and other tunes in the Sun Studios but no one can now find the tapes.

At some point, Jimmy gave up playing in favour of business. He learned to fly a plane and then in 1978 and 1979 he had a religious conversion and became a Doctor of Theology. Now aged 75 [ed.: in 2003], he runs the Measure of Faith Ministries, working and building churches in the Philippines. He recalls his carousing and playing days with mild affection, but is matter of fact about the recording business. « The records were just so much plastic. We just made ‘em to sell ».



1 comment:

  1. Still love your stuff Bob. If I wasn't that impatience, I'd do a few label posts myself.